‘Seraphina’: From Russia, To Dragon Con

With Russia often in the news in 2017, it’s no surprise that my recreational thoughts were also drifting across that cultural landscape. This effort included my own take on a traditional Russian kokoshnik headpiece, fur trim a la Ivan the Terrible, with garment cues and colors taken from Russian royal fashion (pre-Rasputin).

I’m happy with the silhouette of the project, but candid photographs revealed some color conflicts that I hope to resolve before submitting this project for collaboration with professional photography. I’m looking forward to posting the entire WIP story for this costume project inspired by Russian forms and color. But in the meantime, I’ll go ahead and share some preliminary images taken by various photographers at Dragon Con 2017.

All thanks to the folks who turned a lens toward ‘Seraphina’!

Photo by Courtney Crawford

Photo by Jen Yates of EPBOT

Photo by Ashley Strickland

Photo by Ashley Strickland

Photo by Carlos A Smith

Photo by Anita Sims

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ODD BEAUTY: The Techno-Eccentric World of Steampunk

I only knew Art Donovan by reputation. I’d followed with enthusiasm an art exhibition that he had curated in Oxford years earlier. His own body of work as a distinguished light designer and artisan captured my attention and held it in the intervening years. So it was rather a surprise to be contacted out of the blue by Art and his wife, Leslie. They were planning a new show at the and invited me to participate. But rather than sending static examples of my work, I was invited to come to the Hamptons and inhabit my work for a day as part of a living exhibit at Odd Beauty: The Techno-Eccentric World of Steampunk.

Hosted in the historic surrounds of the Southampton Arts Center, the collected works of some of the world’s most respected Steampunk artists were collected and displayed to their finest advantage in the Odd Beauty exhibition. It was a complete delight to examine and study the work of craftsmen and artists first-hand. It was an honor to move among these compelling creations inside my own contribution to Steampunk eccentricity.

I’m humbled to share space with many of my artisan heroes. And I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to experience this beautiful community and make new friends in the neighborhood. Thank you, Art and Leslie Donovan for the kind hospitality and a wonderful weekend in the Hamptons!

Photo by Amy Kirwin Photo by Amy KirwinPhoto by Amy Kirwin Photo by Amy Kirwin

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CostumeArt: In the Media

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of talking about costuming, steampunk and related interest in media outlets. Sometimes my projects appear in other outings from small films and art galleries, to magazines and blogs. I’ve tried to keep a record of these interviews and notices along the way, mostly as a reminder of the journey. It’s been a pleasure and an honor to meet and work with so many talented folks along the way.

CostumeArt In the Media

b-metro magazine paige gardner steampunkFeatured in Cover Story on Steampunk for B-METRO MAGAZINE.  This online version includes cool video which is worth viewing for the peek at a local furnace in Birmingham, Alabama.  This issue won an ‘Addy’ award for B-Metro Magazine.
http://b-metro.com/steampunk/808/

Paige Gardner presents at Odd Beauty: The Techno-Eccentric World of Steampunk, Southampton New York.

Feature in DAN’S PAPERS (The Hamptons). http://www.danspapers.com/2017/10/odd-beauty-illuminates-steampunk-special-programs/  Noted in THE HAMPTONS http://www.hamptons.com/event.php?eventID=40563#.Wezs9ohrzIU PAINTING the HAMPTONS: https://paintingthehamptons.blogspot.com/2017/10/odd-beauty-and-steampunk-abbess.html SAG HARBOR EXPRESS: https://sagharborexpress.com/back-future-steampunk-merges-magic-machinery/ NOTEY: http://www.notey.com/@danspapers_unofficial/external/18279319/art-donovan%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98odd-beauty%E2%80%99-brings-steampunk-to-southampton-arts-center.html

Feature in STEAMPUNK CHRONICLE (“The Steampunk Exhibition at DragonCon”)
http://www.steampunkchronicle.com/ArticleView/tabid/238/ArticleId/109/-Function-Dominates-Form-at-Dragon-Con-s-2011-Steampunk-Exhibition.aspx

Costume Art featured at PLAYBOY.com (Gamer Next Door at San Diego Comic-Con)
http://www.playboy.com/videos/view/gamer-next-door-comic-con-wrap-up

ca-daily-news-comic-con-paige-gardner-costumeCostumed Appearance on CBS SUNDAY MORNING with Mo Rocca “Steampunk: Yesterday’s Tomorrow”
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-20127610/steampunk-yesterdays-tomorrow/

Costume Art featured at New York Daily News (San Diego Comic-Con International)
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/comic-con-2013-gallery-1.1403713

Costume Art featured at CraveOnline (San Diego Comic-Con International)
http://www.craveonline.com/lifestyle/articles/539663-comic-con-2013-cosplayers-invade-san-diego

 

ca-paige-gardner-crave-online-comic-conCostume Art featured in B-METRO MAGAZINE (May 2012)
http://b-metro.com/dr-who/5777/

Costume Art featured in behind-the-scenes VIDEO for B-Metro Magazine
https://www.facebook.com/paige.g.smith.5#!/photo.php?v=10150864627142423

 

ca-tor-dragonmount-blog-aielCostume Art Featured at TOR.com
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/05/on-our-radar-cool-photos-of-real-life-wheel-of-time-characters#comments

Costume Art Featured at DRAGONMOUNT.com
http://www.dragonmount.com/index.php/News/events/fan-art-friday/fan-art-friday-dim-horizon-studio-r333?st=0#comment_3248

 

Costume Art Featured at ABC 33/40
http://www.abc3340.com/story/22216023/woman-turns-tornado-debris-into-art

VIDEOS of Costume Artist

VIDEO Costumed Appearance in the teaser trailer for film series “REMNANT” (Penny Dreadful Productions / Brothers Young)
http://youtu.be/Xm-lWr81bGs

VIDEO Costumed Appearance and Character Role in ‘Wolf in the Woods’ (Sick Sense Productions)
http://youtu.be/CD3eZ2VEWV8

VIDEO of the MECHANIZED Ouija Board (Part of the Steampunk Automaton Fortune-Teller).  The movement of the planchette is directed by discreet glove contact on the sides of the mask.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLiWj0wNewU

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Paige Smith, Costume Artist, ABC 33/40
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLziRvlOSj4&feature=youtu.be

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Paige Gardner Smith, Director of THE GADGETEERS SHOWCASE at DragonCon | Interview with Professor Upsidasium 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFVj-GtuEiw

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A Junky Journey to Warhammer 40K Cosplay at Dragon Con 2016

Inquisitor Oriza, a Warhammer 40k costume. Image by Conography (Joe Hacker) for Blastr Media

Inquisitor Oriza, a Warhammer 40k costume. Image by Conography (Joe Hacker) for Blastr Media

With just 5 weeks to build a legitimate Warhammer 40K costume using only salvage and thrift materials (excepting corset and boots), I didn’t have a chance to try the whole thing on before taking it to Dragon Con 2016. That’s cool, though. I knew going in that there were some lingering issues and that the convention photography would reveal all. But the photos also revealed the best of it, too.

The response to the “Inquisitor Oriza” project was overwhelmingly positive and I’m especially grateful to every camera and phone that took a minute to record the result. I’ve gathered a few of these pictures here (with credit to the photographers) to recognize the compliment that’s paid every time someone takes time to craft your image in a photo. It’s sincerely appreciated. Every time. Thank you.

Photographer: Conography

Warhammer 40k Inquisitor Oriza (costume by Paige Gardner) Photographer: Conography

Image by Subversive Photography

Image by Subversive Photography

 

Image by Ethereal Visionz

Image by Ethereal Visionz

Original Image by Dan Gary

Original Image by Dan Gary

 

Image by Timothy Helbing

Image by Timothy Helbing

 

Image by Adam Felts

Image by Adam Felts

 

Photographer: Conography

Photographer: Conography

 

Image by Charles Felts

Image by Charles Felts

 

Image by Daniel Sharps

Image by Daniel Sharps

 

Image by Sally Shalett

Image by Sally Shalett

Dragon Con 2016: Paige Gardner and Her Poor Feet

I’ve been invited back to Dragon Con 2016 as an Attending Professional, and I’m more excited I’ve ever been. Mostly because it’s the 30th Anniversary year. But also because I’ve had a difficult year personally, and really need to recharge my battery through close (crowd crushing) association with 60,000 of the best sort of people. I’ve made a new costume. I don’t know if I like it yet. But I did meet my goal of building a Warhammer 40K character entirely from re-purposed junk. I’m going to call that a win.

NEWS: My panel/event schedule includes some pretty cool stuff (including my first foray into the Art Track!). The high points are posted below with hopes that some of my friends may be able to come out and join me for one or two events.

FORECAST: Dragon Con has a HUGE footprint – and there’s definitely some aggressive walking that’s going to happen with this schedule.  I’m investing in TWO layers of squishy insoles. My poor feet.

See you very soon!

Paige

Title: Vintage Vogue Fashion Show: Historical Costumes Real & Imagined
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: Grand Salon West – Hilton
Description: Bringing historical fashion AND costumes from Alternate History to the runway, the timeline gets twisted at the Vintage Vogue Fashion Show. Join us for a stunning time-traveling costume adventure at Dragon Con 2016! (Show Manager)

Title: Steampunk Adventures in the Land of the Wonder Women
Time: Fri 08:30 pm Location: 204 I – Mart2
Description: Brett King’s popular alter ego Gustaf Danielsson takes you on an all-new interactive steampunk adventure with comedy, fantastic props, and wild tales of exploration. Join us as we go in search of the Land of the Wonder Women! (Panelist)

Title: Chosen Cosplay Pre-Judging
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Offsite GA Aquarium – N/A
(Preliminary Judge)

Title: The Desperate Steampunk (Garb & Gear on a Budget)
Time: Sun 02:30 pm Location: 204 I – Mart2
Description: What’s a costumer to do without money or skills to build a top-drawer steampunk ensemble? Take desperate measures. “The Desperate Steampunk” is your insider intro to low-cost resources, costuming shortcuts, & innovative ways to craft Steampunk gear and garb with a minimum of skill and funds. (Emcee / Moderator)

Title: When Two ARTS Collide: The Intersection of Art Photography & Cosplay
Time: Sun 04:00 pm Location: Grand Hall C – Hyatt
Description: Come hear from experts in cosplay/costuming, art photography, and “geek-culture” publishing. Learn tips and pointers for raising your art form to the next level, and increase your chances of getting publicity and exposure for your work! (Panelist)

Title: Extreme Makeover: Steampunk Edition
Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: 204 I – Mart2
Description: This game show follows three lucky individuals chosen by our “extreme team” of top designers as they are tasked to take leftover items and found objects to clothe our contestants top to bottom in a complete retro-future makeover, with the winner chosen by our panel of celebrity judges. (Judge)

Title: Something from Nothing: Reverse Engineering a Cool Costume Crafted from Thrift
Time: Mon 11:30 am Location: 308 – Hilton
Description: Resident recycling, up-cycling, and no-sew costuming expert discusses her creative process for creating award-winning and museum-worthy costumes out of the most unlikely of materials. Space is limited. (Sole Presenter)

Title: The State of Steampunk
Time: Mon 01:00 pm Location: 204 I – Mart2
Description: Find out where Steampunk is headed. Has Steampunk finally peaked? If so, what comes next? This round-table discussion panel explores the current state of the subculture and how it will evolve. Will other sub-genres become more prominent (dieselpunk, rococopunk, etc.)?

Title: Embellishments for Costuming
Time: Mon 02:30 pm Location: 302-305 – Hilton
Description: Sometimes a few beads, a gemstone or two, or some fringe is all your costume needs to look stunning. We tell you how to use them and how to get them to stay attached. (Panelist)

Stained Glass “Abbey” at Abandoned School

I can’t believe I missed sharing these Dim Horizon Studios images of Abbey crafted in abandoned Banks school in Birmingham, Alabama.  The school opened its doors specifically to cosplayers and photographers for one afternoon in 2015. It was dark, dirty…and magnificent in its urban decay. The setting felt more like a Warhammer 40K environment (which inspired the costume) so that was a welcome plus! Here are some of my favorites from the day.

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 3

 “Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 5

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 6

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 8

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 9

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 10

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 12

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 15

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 17

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 21

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

 

Merry McQueen: 15 Minute Photo Shoot

We were filming a tiny scene at Sloss Furnace for the 2nd Steampunk Boba Fett fan film (the 1st film, Trial of the Mask can be seen here). The Merry McQueen costume was needed for a very brief appearance as the major domo in the film. Dim Horizon Studios was on hand for all the BTS and cast photography, and it was my good luck that Matt Nicholson took an extra 15 minutes with me after the brief scene to craft some really outstanding images of this most recent costume project.

The following images are examples of what Dim Horizon magicked up in just 15 minutes.

Photography or witchcraft. You decide.

"Merry McQueen" (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 11

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 14

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 18

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 19

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 21

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 23

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios

Merry McQueen Costume Art Paige Gardner Cosplay Steampunk 01

“Merry McQueen” (Paige Gardner of CostumeArt) photographed by Dim Horizon Studios